I am kind of a big deal. Ok, not really in the popular sense. I mean I’m sorta tall. But that counts, right?
I always stood head and shoulders above everyone. That’s probably the reason I use Head & Shoulders Shampoo by P&G when washing my hair. (If I do product placement, eventually I’ll get paid, right? Right?) I get the same questions every tall person gets.
“How tall are you?”
“Do you play basketball?”
“What’s the weather like up there?”
“Can you reach this for me?”
Over the years, these questions have been a regular occurrence no matter where I go. Sometimes it bothers me, most of the time it doesn’t. I just play along and smile awkwardly. I’m also pretty easy to spot in a crowd. Whenever someone of similar stature is within the vicinity of me, one of two things happens. Either we avoid each other like the plague and pretend we don’t acknowledge the other’s presence. Or we end up talking about how annoying it is to be singled out and talked to like freaks by average people. At one point in my life, my friends nicknamed me “Tall Guy”. I was never bothered by that, but the name faded like the friendships of that time.
Most people who aren’t my height don’t realize how they sound. If I spoke to a short person and asked if they were a horse jockey, that’d be kind of offensive. Or if I went up to a rotund person and commented about how big they are and asked if they did sumo wrestling, it might be considered really offensive . I have discovered that children are at least in awe of my height and genuinely excited and astonished by it. A boy in my daughter’s preschool at their graduation said, “I want to grow up and be tall like Random’s dad.”
For almost five years I worked as a manager at the local Chuck E. Cheese’s. The majority of kids were fantastic and fun to be around. If they asked me a question, I would crouch down to their height and talk to them like real people. I still do that if a child approaches me in public because of my height. They are genuinely curious and really happy to talk.
Being tall can suck in other ways. Me personally, I have lower back issues. I also have a slight scoliosis. I often limp when suffering from my back pains or exhaustion. Because I’m also thin, buying pants has been a challenge most of my life until recently. I found out that people in the farming area like to buy pants that are slightly longer in order to go over their cowboy boots. Score for me that I can wear jeans that don’t look like I’m wearing capris!
Being tall is part of who I am. I get to look down on most of you and not in a egotistical way. Although being awesome is also part of who I am.